Private citizens utilizing Amazon’s Ring technology to protect their property is… racist. [Activists are pressuring lawmakers to stop Amazon Ring’s police surveillance partnerships, Vox.com, October 8, 2019]:
More than 30 civil rights organizations, including RAICES, Media Justice, and the National Immigration Law Center, published a joint letter Tuesday asking lawmakers to end local police partnerships with Amazon’s Ring.
The video doorbell company has more than 500 partnerships with police. These agreements permit law enforcement officers to directly contact Ring owners and ask for video to use when investigating nearby crimes. These partnerships sometimes also include free or discounted Ring products that police distribute to residents in their communities. Ring users are able to post footage to Ring’s Neighbors social media app, where users can view and comment on videos.
In their letter, the civil rights organizers emphasized a number of concerns about the partnerships, including the possibility that video footage could be misused, that employees at Amazon have access to the footage, and that Ring might incorporate facial recognition technology with the surveillance doorbells.
Beyond these concerns, an expanding network of Ring surveillance has other impacts on communities, including giving people the false sense that crime is on the rise in an area, even as crime rates nationwide are declining. Ring’s Neighbors can also disproportionately affect people of color by exacerbating existing biases: Racism and racial profiling have proliferated on the app.
“With no oversight and accountability, Amazon’s technology creates a seamless and easily automated experience for police to request and access footage without a warrant, and then store it indefinitely,” they wrote. “In the absence of clear civil liberties and rights-protective policies to govern the technologies and the use of their data, once collected, stored footage can be used by law enforcement to conduct facial recognition searches, target protesters exercising their First Amendment rights, teenagers for minor drug possession, or shared with other agencies like ICE or the FBI.”
Ring said a number of the civil rights organizations’ claims are inaccurate, including the idea that Ring is a threat to civil liberties.
Technology is a wonderful thing.
It enables us to see racial truths otherwise hidden by the corporate/mainstream media.
Or, racial truths that civil rights organizations demand be outlawed from being broadcast to the nation… because they might start to influence social policy.